Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Self-organizing molecules: Nanorings with two sides

24.07.2019

The tiny rings that chemists at the Center for Nanointegration (CENIDE) at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) create in the laboratory are as small as a bacterium. Self-organized, individual polymer chains form the flexible structures that can even squeeze themselves through cell membranes. This would enable them to deliver active substances in a very targeted manner. The renowned scientific journal ACS Nano reports on this in its current issue.

Take some chloroform, a few milligrams of polymer and mingle this solution with a soap mixture. This results in an emulsion from which chloroform slowly evaporates for several days. What remains are small polymer nanoparticles that consist of small rings inside.


Microscopic image of individual rings. The largest has a diameter of about 500 nanometers.

© UDE/CENIDE

The structure looks like a striped Easter egg: many rings lie on top of each other, the largest in the middle, the smallest at the top and bottom. To stabilize them, they are chemically cross-linked in the core and then separated from each other.

"It is in general difficult to make rings from such soft matter as polymers," explains Andrea Steinhaus, PhD student in the research group of junior professor André Gröschel. "But we have found a good possibility that can be easily scaled up. This is immensely important with regard to industrial production".

The team of scientists also succeeded in producing rings with two different sides for the first time. They are called Janus nanorings after the Roman god with two faces: If you look at them like a bagel cut open to smear, the upper half is made of a different polymer than the lower half. This allows different properties to be set that are suitable for the respective application.

In the next step, the chemists want to manufacture discs and examine various filling patterns. The fundamental question here is the same: Which method can be used to build which structure? Because after all, it is essential for many applications to be able to specifically form complex nanostructures.

Note for editors:
We provide you with a photo for download :
https://www.uni-due.de/imperia/md/images/pool-ps/downloads/2019-07-22_janus_nano...

Microscopic image of individual rings. The largest has a diameter of about 500 nanometers.© UDE/CENIDE

Editor: Birte Vierjahn, +49 203 37 9-8176, birte.vierjahn@uni-due.de

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Andrea Steinhaus, +49 203 37 9-8219, andrea.steinhaus@uni-due.de

Originalpublikation:

Confinement Assembly of ABC Triblock Terpolymers for the High-Yield Synthesis of Janus Nanorings
A. Steinhaus, R. Chakroun, M. Müllner, T. Nghiem, M. Hildebrandt, and A. H. Gröschel
ACS Nano 2019 13 (6), 6269-6278
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.8b09546

Birte Vierjahn | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Detect cell changes faster
27.02.2020 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoff- und Strahltechnik IWS

nachricht Preserved and fresh – Neutrons show details of the freeze drying process
27.02.2020 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: High-pressure scientists in Bayreuth discover promising material for information technology

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have discovered an unusual material: When cooled down to two degrees Celsius, its crystal structure and electronic properties change abruptly and significantly. In this new state, the distances between iron atoms can be tailored with the help of light beams. This opens up intriguing possibilities for application in the field of information technology. The scientists have presented their discovery in the journal "Angewandte Chemie - International Edition". The new findings are the result of close cooperation with partnering facilities in Augsburg, Dresden, Hamburg, and Moscow.

The material is an unusual form of iron oxide with the formula Fe₅O₆. The researchers produced it at a pressure of 15 gigapascals in a high-pressure laboratory...

Im Focus: From China to the South Pole: Joining forces to solve the neutrino mass puzzle

Study by Mainz physicists indicates that the next generation of neutrino experiments may well find the answer to one of the most pressing issues in neutrino physics

Among the most exciting challenges in modern physics is the identification of the neutrino mass ordering. Physicists from the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA+ at...

Im Focus: Therapies without drugs

Fraunhofer researchers are investigating the potential of microimplants to stimulate nerve cells and treat chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, or Parkinson’s disease. Find out what makes this form of treatment so appealing and which challenges the researchers still have to master.

A study by the Robert Koch Institute has found that one in four women will suffer from weak bladders at some point in their lives. Treatments of this condition...

Im Focus: A step towards controlling spin-dependent petahertz electronics by material defects

The operational speed of semiconductors in various electronic and optoelectronic devices is limited to several gigahertz (a billion oscillations per second). This constrains the upper limit of the operational speed of computing. Now researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg, Germany, and the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay have explained how these processes can be sped up through the use of light waves and defected solid materials.

Light waves perform several hundred trillion oscillations per second. Hence, it is natural to envision employing light oscillations to drive the electronic...

Im Focus: Freiburg researcher investigate the origins of surface texture

Most natural and artificial surfaces are rough: metals and even glasses that appear smooth to the naked eye can look like jagged mountain ranges under the microscope. There is currently no uniform theory about the origin of this roughness despite it being observed on all scales, from the atomic to the tectonic. Scientists suspect that the rough surface is formed by irreversible plastic deformation that occurs in many processes of mechanical machining of components such as milling.

Prof. Dr. Lars Pastewka from the Simulation group at the Department of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg and his team have simulated such...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting: Around 70 Laureates set to meet with young scientists from approx. 100 countries

12.02.2020 | Event News

11th Advanced Battery Power Conference, March 24-25, 2020 in Münster/Germany

16.01.2020 | Event News

Laser Colloquium Hydrogen LKH2: fast and reliable fuel cell manufacturing

15.01.2020 | Event News

 
Latest News

Explained: Why water droplets 'bounce off the walls'

27.02.2020 | Physics and Astronomy

Existing drugs may offer a first-line treatment for coronavirus outbreak

27.02.2020 | Health and Medicine

Rare lizard fossil preserved in amber

27.02.2020 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>